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Web Mistress

The Star, 21 May 08

Internet millionaire shares some tips on how to start small

Fione Tan is the President & CEO of, the leading internet marketing company in Asia, as ranked in search engines. Since starting in Kuala Lumpur in 2000, eOneNet has grown from zero into a multi-million dollar internet marketing company with clients ranging from MNCs such as Apple Malaysia, Marriott Hong Kong, and more. eOneNet operates 3 offices in Asia – Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Fione is a regular internet marketing expert with experience in training over 20,000 people worldwide, and has been interviewed by the popular media such as Malaysia TV, China CCTV, Singapore Channel News Asia, Bloomberg, CNBC Asia, Hong Kong Metro Radio, and all major newsapapers and magazines. is also the leading internet marketing brand in Asia, and has won various awards including the ZDNet Asia’s Top 50 IT companies 2006.

Q: How can a newbie start an Internet business with very little money? Can you share with us on how you started eOneNet?

Fione: This was exactly how I started off in 2000. I was miserable in my job and desperately wanted a switch in career. Internet sounded an exciting industry and when I was a student, I was already exposed to the benefits of the Internet. Therefore, with my passion for the Internet, I quit my job and decided to start an Internet Business called

However, I had no savings nor money to start the business. Therefore I wrote a simple 4 page A4 size business plan and started participating in networking events like business association events or other entrepreneur talks. From there, I met my shareholders who gave us US$26,000 to start the company.

It takes just an idea and then the main effort is to take action and apply step by step methods to achieve your goals.

Web Mistress - The Star - Fione Tan

"Web Mistress - The Star - Fione Tan"

Q: Why did you choose an online business rather than a traditional brick & mortar business?

Fione: The Internet is probably one of the few industries that has seen double digit growth rate in many parts of the world from 10 years ago until now and this is a trend that will last for the next 10 years!

Now, Asia is already the market with the largest Internet population and the spending power for ecommerce has been increasing year by year. I believe it is very important to start a business in an industry that is going upwards.

Moreover, this is a low risk business as we don’t need a real store, renovation, no stock keeping and it can also be operated as a home business. I won’t want to fork out RM100,000 just to renovate and rent a store, then need to wait 9 months or more before starting to break even. An internet business is so low cost that everyone can even get started with a just a few thousand dollars.

With internet marketing, I can sell worldwide to a global audience and not just to customers within 5km of my radius. How to target a worldwide audience? Think of how the users are finding products online, and the common way to do that is to use search engines like Google or Yahoo. Therefore, eOneNet is focused on getting free top rankings in popular search engines, which will result in sales online.

The Internet allows business anytime, anywhere, so whether I am traveling or sleeping at home, I can still earn income online. Moreover, it is great to be able to sell my products and services in US$ !

Q: For those who have very little start up capital, what kind of challenges will they face?

Fione: Since you know that you want to have a low cost operation, then you need to commit to yourself that you will be hands-on and try many new things yourself. There is no way that you can hire a consultant to do everything and expect sales to flow right in without you having spend time to go through some process together.

For those that have a small start up capital, then spend your money wisely. Don’t be tempted to spend all your money in goods / stocks or just the website design. The main chunk of money should be spent on the marketing and promotions activities.

For instance, when we started off, we had gained US$26,000 in shareholder funding but made a wrong move by spending US$22,000 to design the website. We ended up just having US$4,000 capital which was to be used for operating the office, buying PCs and more. That definitely was not enough so we got hands-on and started to learn from scratch.

Within 3 months, we were be able to sell over US$22,000 worth of items online and able to recoup all our investment in just such a short period. Needless to say, the hands-on practical experience definitely has helped us build the company into its multi million dollar operations now, where we can sell B2B (business to business), B2C ( business to consumer), for physical, services as well as digital items.

Don’t be tempted with business that sounds too good to be true! An internet business is still a business so it’s not as simple as doing a website. You have to take charge and learn the online marketing strategies yourself too and that will be a skill that you can apply for your future website business.

Q: How can a small home based business avoid head-on competition with large corporations?

Definitely! The internet gives everyone equal opportunities, no matter your age, gender, race or size of company. On the Internet, whether you are a multinational corporation or a home business entrepreneur, both of you will have the website appearing on the same screen size!

Therefore, the Internet is one of the most powerful leverage you can make use of. Learn how to get online marketing done properly, and some of them are also free so you don’t need a huge budget.

Q: How can a website find customers in the competitive Online Market?

Fione: Rather than trying to sell everything online, start with a niche (target market), which is a smaller segment of a larger market, and often ignored by the big competitors. As you have limited capital and resources, then focus on the skills that can set you apart from the other current competitors.

For example, eOneNet is focused on Internet Marketing Asia as China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, India, already commanding such a huge demand. Therefore, many European corporations who wish to promote their products or build their brands to the Asian consumers, found out about eOneNet via searches in top search engines, and as a result, hire us to help them achieve their online marketing goals. Some of clients include UK universities who wanted to promote their courses in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and a Spain top shoe brand company who wanted to promote their online stores in Hong Kong and Japan.

By delivering proven results and performance, our customers are delighted with our services and will happily refer us to their other counterparts and remain as our loyal customers.

There is no business that has no competitors, and with the Internet, we need to learn to do better than our competitors worldwide in order to create a leading brand.

Q: Any tips on how to manage an internet business with limited capital?

As stated above, you should first start by finding the correct business to be involved with. Do not enter an industry that is over competitive or which there is low demand. Internet business is not a guessing game as there are free online tools and data that can specifically tell us which type of products that the customer is looking for.

Then, plan your spending with the capital. It might a good idea to invest the money into skills that you can use and reuse again. For instance, you can get started with your website with just SEO Site Builder developed by - a do-it-yourself “click and create” site builder which is search engine friendly, which enables you can edit and amend your website by yourself.

Next is to learn how to market your business, both online and offline. Online is where you can target a global audience while offline methods are more towards your local market. One of the best ways of online marketing and free is to get top rankings in search engines for your industry keywords or your products search terms. According to research, that is the most effective method that you customer is using before they buy online.

Therefore, you should allocate some time and money to learn the online marketing skills eg like by attending some good internet seminars such as’s popular seminars held in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore. Moreover, visit and learn from internet marketing blogs such as the internet marketing blog at that provides free videos and tips on how to sell online.

For those who needs more guidance and hand-holding to ensure their success, launched Asia’s first Internet marketing coaching program since 2003, which is a two day training in its computer lab to be followed by 3 months Internet business building under our coaching. eOneNet coaching program has been attended by entrepreneurs from all over the world, including USA, Canada, Europe, Middle East and Australia.

The unique selling point about this coaching program is we have the proven experience of selling products, services, information and digital products online with millions of dollars of sales each and every year. So we are passing on our skills and actual experience which we have learned in the last 8 years, to the participants, in just 3 months time.

More importantly, we have been creating many real success stories, from Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Singapore, including some ordinary students who have become Internet millionaires from scratch

More details of this program an be found at

There is even a home study course where you can learn how to make money online from the comfort of your home, by purchasing eOneNet DVD Coaching course at

Q: Please give your advice to those who intend to start an Internet Business fast and successfully.

Fione: Identify success cases and good role models so that you can follow their steps towards a short cut to success. There is no point to reinvent the wheel when someone else has already found the correct method. You will save time and money too.

Check the background of the coach, eg like how many years have they been in business, what do they sell, what support is given by the company etc, plus read through their website press room for more information about this company or coach. You should find one who has real successful experience in selling products and services, rather than just selling making money information.

Then if you follow their correct success system as what the coach is using in their current business, you should get similar results.

At the end of the day, a lot of people have dreams but no self- confidence to work towards their goals. Therefore, let’s stop dreaming and start doing! By taking action, you are one step closer to your success.

There is even a home study course where you can learn how to make money online from the comfort of your home, by purchasing eOneNet DVD Coaching course at

New One Day Web2.0 Seminar on 25 May
eOneNet will hold a new One day Web 2.0 seminar in Kuala Lumpur on 25 May. Now online social networking is the trend. In this seminar, the new Internet marketing strategies such as Facebook, Myspace, YouTube marketing will be revealed and how to utilize these free tools to draw more traffic to your websites and grow you business. Register at Enter promo code Star-98 to get a special online rate of RM98.

eOneNet internet marketing offices contact info:-
Malaysia : 603-7710 5618 / 012-232 8878
Singapore : 65-6339 9219
Hong Kong : 852-6309 3618

Check the internet seminars dates at or subscribe to the free internet marketing news at

About, ranked Asia's top Internet marketing company with offices in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore, and ranked No.1 Internet marketing company Asia by Google, specializes in helping SMIs to expand their business globally and get top rankings in international and China search engines, and offers services including guaranteed top rankings in international and China search engines, email marketing in the legal way, and Internet marketing training and coaching. Clients include both multinational companies and SMIs in the region. For more details, visit

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